Jon DeLos Sprague (a/k/a Jack) was born May 12, 1937 to Rolland and Marion Sprague in Independence, MO.
He married the love of his life, Julia Mae Geller (a/k/a Judy) on December 1, 1958. Jack and Judy were married for 52 years and had four children: Robin, Shaughn, Danielle and Michelle. They raised their children to be grounded in the Christian faith with a sense of “home” in the Flathead Valley of Montana.
Jack passed away peacefully on January 23, 2022, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.
Jack is survived by Judy and their children and their spouses: Robin and Randy Detherage, Shaughn and Angelita Sprague, Danielle Geller, and Michelle and Jim McAfoos, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his sister Dana Rider and her husband Michael, and brothers-in-law Alvin Harris and Gary Welch.
He is preceded in death by his father and mother Rolland and Marion Sprague, sister Joyce Harris, sister Janice Welch and great-granddaughter Taylor Renfro.
Over the 84 years of his life, Jack and Judy’s family “tribe” grew to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Travis and Kasey Detherage and their children, Hayli, Dawson, Tyler; Michael and Mary Detherage and their children, Jordon, Mariah, Morghan, MaKailee and T.J.; Lori and Chris Renfro and their children, Taylor, Addison, and Kylee; Savanah and Cody Sprague and their children, Gwenevere, Sebastian, and Elliott; Cheyenne and Dylan Proctor and their children, Emerson and Lily; Rachelle and Nick Meyer and their children, Callie, Canon, Cash and Cendyll; Jared Bruner and Natisha Flores and their children, Braylen and Sadie; Shane and Rocchina Bruner and their children Kipton and Ryker; Emily and Chase Schneider and their children Mac and Merrick; and Jamie and Bryce Jones.
While still a senior at William Chrisman High School, in December of 1954, Jack volunteered to enter the U.S. Army Reserve’s 250th General Hospital Unit in Kansas City, MO. After graduation in May of 1955, he continued with his 10-year military career which included 2 ½ years in the Reserve and 7 ½ years in active duty where he was a Medical Technician, a Surgical Technician, and the final 4 years, a Special Forces Medic. He was stationed in various parts of the world including Okinawa, (where Robin and Shaughn were born), and Fort Bragg, NC, (where Danielle was born). He was awarded an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and was a Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award recipient. He was honorably discharged in December of 1964. Post Special Forces, he worked as a truck driver and land surveyor and settled his family in the beauty of Flathead Valley. There they lived in Columbia Falls, Olney, Kalispell and Whitefish, Montana, (where Michelle was born). In 1974, after receiving a land surveying degree from Flathead Valley Community College, he felt the need to “temporarily” relocate his family to the Kansas City area to be near his aging parents. He had strong kinship with Native American peoples and sought out ways to be an advocate to many throughout his life and was an instrumental part of the Longest Walk movement in 1978. He also invested much in the lives of Hmong refugees from Laos who were in Kansas City. Starting in 2004 he dedicated his time and talent as a Veterans Service Officer. In that capacity he assisted veterans by helping them acquire their V.A. benefits in both Leavenworth, Kansas and then in the Flathead Valley after finally relocating back “home” to Montana in 2008. He volunteered in numerous other capacities throughout his life including being the President of Special Forces Association Chapter XXIX in Kansas and as Post Chaplain of both VFW #276 and DAV Flathead Chapter #4 in Montana. He was a lifetime member and staunch advocate of the VFW, DAV and the American Legion. (His family suggests sending memorial donations to one of these veteran’s support organizations.)
He will be laid to rest in the beauty of the Flathead Valley of Montana in Fairveiw Cemetery with a private family ceremony and military salute.
He will be remembered and missed.
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